Last year's playoff run was all about the Giants avenging regular-season losses. They did that by beating the Packers and the 49ers in the postseason. Now it's those playoff teams' chances to avenge their losses to the Giants during this regular season. The Giants already withstood the 49ers and will face the Falcons next month. This week, they get the Packers.
The 2011 Packers had one regular-season loss, the top seed in the NFC playoffs and eyes on back-to-back Super Bowl titles. Then the Giants went to Lambeau and beat them in a divisional playoff game. This is their first meeting since.
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"We're excited about this game and we know they are going to come in [ticked] off about last year and we have to be ready for that intensity," Giants guard Chris Snee said Monday.
It will be the third meeting between the two teams in the last 11 months. Even back in 2010, the Giants' fate hinged on two Packers games, one they needed to win head to head to get into the playoffs in Week 16 and one against the Bears that the Giants needed the Packers to lose in Week 17. Their paths have crossed often.
"Too much for me to like, to be honest with you," Antrel Rolle said on his weekly radio spot on WFAN Tuesday.
Both teams know what to expect. Rolle spelled it out.
"I don't expect anything less than a hard-fought war battle," he said. "That's what it's going to come down to. Those guys are going to be hungry. Those guys are going to want revenge from last season. And we're trying to get ourselves back on track and make a push toward this postseason and win our division. Both teams are going to be extremely high, both teams are going to be focused, and I don't expect anything but the best of the best on Sunday night."
Last year's playoff game will only add to that theater.
"Anytime you get knocked out, I mean whenever we get knocked out, I am not happy," Snee said. "You remember that from the previous years."
The Giants also remember the Packers and Clay Matthews saying that the Giants did not beat them, that they beat themselves in that playoff game.
Snee said with a smile when asked about the convincing win: "Maybe we got lucky."